Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.

1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Together with 1 John 3:6, Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him, are difficult to understand.

These verses must be examined with the entirety of John’s first epistle. For example, 1 John 1:8 and 10, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” and “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” John is clearly teaching that the Christian sins. Understanding that John clearly is not teaching sinlessness on the part of the Christian, then we must surmise that John’s intent is easily definable within the text.

John’s intended audience are Christians, “Whosoever is born of God”, and not to a select few “super Christians.” Therefore, his writing affects the entire body of believers in Christ. John’s point is “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.” It is important to know that John is declaring the total absence of all sin, and not just the continuing, practice or keeping on of sin. Some Bible translations translate this verse as: “no one who is born of God will continue to sin,” (NIV). While others will use, “makes a practice of sinning” (ESV, NASB). However, this is not the original Greek. Since God is the source of the Christian birth and he is completely holy and perfect, he cannot “beget” a partially perfect child. “Like-begets-like.”

For the apostle John, the idea that a Christian will continually or habitually practice sin goes against everything that John intends. John clearly defines that man is sinful, and that no sin is allowed in the Christian in order to have fellowship with God.

For John, the believer is in a constant state of struggle with the old man, which is an enemy of God, and the new man which is a born-again believer. The war is between the “inner man which is a believer’s new nature, and the old man whose nature is a sinful nature of Adam. The “inward man” tries to serve the law of God, but the outward man serves his flesh.

We can never be free of this nature, however, the inner man, being the image of a perfect God, is regenerated and does not commit sin. (Romans 7:20-25; Galatians 2:20). The “old man” sins, however the “new man” does not and cannot sin, according to John.

Caution; John does not intend to present the Christian as being able to become sinless perfection in the outward man. Sin does exist in the believer’s life, but it is foreign and extraneous to the inward regenerated man where Christ dwells in perfect holiness.  

“…even now there are many antichrists”

Continuing my studies in 1st John 2:18,

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

antichrist” is the Greek word “antichristoswhich means “against the Messiah.”

John’s reference to “antichrists”, meant that they were evident in the church in his lifetime. It is not a 20th or 21st century arrival.

John further defines antichrists as anyone who denies that 1) Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of the Old Testament, and 2) deny that Jesus is the only means of salvation.

Look at this following list:

  • During the time of Jesus, he preached that there were “tares among the wheat.”
  • In the churches in Galatia, there were false teachers.
  • In the church at Philippi, there were enemies of God
  • In the church at Colossi, there were teachers of heresies.

No antichrists are nothing new, but they are very active today. We should all be on our guard. Study your Bible folks. It will keep you out of heresies and false teaching.

A “Christ Like” Walk

In light of I John 2.6, the Apostle John is describing what a “Christ Like Walk” would resemble.

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

In this passage,John also includes why a new Christian cannot attain a “Christ like” walk.
A Christ like walk is attained, based on the maturity level of the believer. Therefore, it cannot be achieved the moment one is born again, as a babe in Christ. Until the heart is fully prepared to act on and follow the commandments of God, through instruction in the Bible, led by the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to be “Christ Like.” Knowing God can only come by an intimate communion with Him, marked by obedience to the Lord’s commands. The disciple abides in Him when he fully experiences a knowledge of His love and grace. And that takes time to learn to keep His commandments, abiding in the Lord and fully resting or trust in Jesus Christ.

Walking in the Light

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

These 3 verses from the first Epistle of John, follow the preamble of verses 1 through 4. They set forth the importance of having a proper relationship with God that leads to fellowship with the Father and with his Son.

Starting in verse 5, John introduces God as “light” and that there is no darkness in Him at all. John is setting the table so to speak; in order to have fellowship with God, there are prerequisites.

In verses 6-7, we are introduced to “if, then” statements that John uses to demonstrate how the believer is to have fellowship with God or conversely, how to walk in darkness without fellowship with Him. John places the believers fellowship with God, Jesus Christ his own son, and fellow Christians as making his own decision to walk in darkness or walk in the light.

Verse number 6 concerns the Christian who says he has fellowship with God and yet he does not obey the commandments or following the truth of his teachings. John says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth.” In other words, a person who declares that they have fellowship with God and yet denies His teachings is a liar! The “if, then” statement of this verse is simply: IF we say we have fellowship with God and yet walk in darkness, THEN we lie.

The antithesis of verse 6 is found in the following verse. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin.” John boldly announced to his readers that IF one is walking in the light THEN he is having fellowship with God and THEN he is being cleansed from all sin. As we have seen, “if, then” statements are conditional. In this case the condition is that the “cleansing from all sin” is conditional upon “walking in the light.”

Man, is not perfect, nor will he be perfect on this earth. There is nothing that man can do that will make him good enough to walk in the light. However, John makes it very clear that Christians are “walking in the light”, not due to anything they have accomplished, rather, it is what Jesus accomplished on the cross. The Christian does walk in the light and his sins are being cleansed not by any works that he could accomplish but rather by the work that Jesus did for mankind as he shed his blood on the cross. The continual process of a Christian’s “cleansing of sin”, is part of Sanctification and Justification.

In this discussion, and throughout the context of 1st John, the writer makes it very clear that he is not speaking about “positional sanctification”, which takes place at the moment of salvation. Rather, he is speaking about “progressive sanctification” which is a lifelong, continual process. Taking this one step further, John is not talking about cleansing from sin as it deals with salvation, instead, he is speaking about cleansing of sin for the purpose of having fellowship with God and with the brethren. For a Christian to have fellowship with God and other Christians, he must repent and confess his sins (progressive sanctification). The Christian must be willing to abide in communion with God by following all His commandments.

The significance of this teaching, is that God will not force his fellowship upon man just as he will not force salvation upon man. Man, is a free will agent and is responsible for all his own decisions. Man must choose salvation, he must choose to believe in God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Consequently, in order for man to have fellowship with God and his son Jesus Christ, he must choose obedience.